luiperdkloof trail Run

This past weekend the man in my life and I took part in a trail run on Luiperdkloof farm in the Bavane district – about a half an hours drive from the town Utrecht.

Utrecht is a quaint little ‘dorp’ in the middle of a game reserve. It’s not uncommon to see Zebra or the odd wildebeest or warthog roaming the streets.

Our accommodation for the Friday before the run was booked at a farm outside of the town.  The drive up to the farm was lovely and scenic, however, we arrived at the main gate only to find it padlocked!  Calls to the owner proved fruitless and after a while we decided to turn around and head back into town to find a Bed and Breakfast.

Well, being a small town we worried about our options.  Utrecht however did not let us down.  We found a lovely bed and Breakfast called ‘Paisley and Pomegranate’. A delightful name and a delightful reprieve after our disappointing start.

Susan’s Bed and Breakfast is a little corner of paradise set in a beautiful mainly indigenous garden. She and her husband are friendly and caring hosts.  The most curious and delightful discovery however  was that she has nine rescued cats. I own a Bed and Breakfast and have nine rescued cats!  A bit of serendipity?

We set off early the next morning for Luiperdskloof. Once again a beautiful drive and a beautiful area. Allot of the land we passed has not been used for agriculture. The bush is thick and natural. The ‘Travellers Joy’ scrambling over the thorn trees and bushes has just finished flowering and now they are a mass of fluffy creamy white seed heads. I caught glimpses of the canary creeper – Senecio Tamoides – not as invasive but very pretty with its sprinkling of dainty yellow flowers.

Luiperdskloof is an old farm with ancient gnarled Oak and Eucalyptus trees. It is a working cattle farm and produces charcoal. It also offers self catering in two chalets overlooking a big trout dam. Beautiful trails wind there way through the hills and valleys with lots of indigenous forest patches in the gorges. There are some enormous Ouhoud and Sage bushes along the streams. Our run was along one of these trails.

The route was mainly single track – not too difficult, a nice balance of climbs and descents. All in all a lovely way to spend a Saturday morning – even though I did get a little lost in the charcoal forest! The event was well organised with generous water tables and a good dose of German hospitality. We will be back!

I spotted this pretty perennial – ‘Rabdosiella Calysina’ growing in the grass along the route, it’s also on Mpati mountain where it grows prolifically next to some of the streams. It’s common name is the ‘upland fly bush’ and its related to the Plectranthus family.

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